Located in the seaside city of Del Mar, California, the Del Mar race track is one of the most well-known American race tracks. Opened in 1937, it was the result of a partnership between Bing Crosby, Oliver Hardy, Joe E. Brown, Pat O’Brien, Gary Cooper, and Charles S. Howard. It is part of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and is also part of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. Today it has a seating capacity of 44,000 and hosts a large number of events, one of the most popular being the hat contest on opening day. The richest race here so far has been the $1,000,000 Grade I Pacific Classic Stakes in 1991.
The Del Mar race track has had a lot going for it, despite it being closed between 1942 and 1944 due to the Second World War. During those years, the space was using as a training facility for the US Marine Corps and also as a site for manufacturing parts for the B-17 bombers. Bing Crosby was personally present at the gates of Del Mar when it first opened, thus establishing a direct connect between the celebrity owner and the fans. It was the first track to host a thoroughbred race that was broadcast to the nation live by NBC Radio. Even today, it remains one of the popular racing tracks of the country.
The Del Mar Race Track
The Del Mar race track is a challenging one, an oval track spread across a full mile, with chutes for 7/8 and also 1 ¼ races. There is also a 7/8 mile oval track with a diagonal straightaway designed for the 1 1/16 and 1 1/18 mile races. The track is designed to be able to stable over 2000 horses and has races two times every year. This was the second race track to use a synthetic track (in 2007) and also the first to install a Polytrack brand surface. However, the year 2015 will see the track go back to a dirt surface.
The racing calendar at Del Mar is open between July and September, and again between November through to first part of December. Different races, across varying grades (grades 1 through 3) are conducted at this track, with one of the highlights being opening day. There are two premium clubs at the Del Mar race track: the Turf Club and the Saddle Club. There is a charge of $800 and $900 annually for each of these clubs respectively. While the Turf Club is a premium club of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, the latter is a premium club of Surfside Race Place. There is also the Del Mar Diamond Club, which is a free membership that is shared by these two entities.
More about the Del Mar Race Track
There are a lot of other things that make Del Mar popular, including the fact that you can get really get close to the horses not just at warm-up time but also during the races. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club website lists all the information you need for a good outing at the track. You can check out the interactive seating map at the website to figure out the best seating location for you when you are there, whether it is general admission, reserved seating, or track-side dining. You also get information on all the local attractions around under the General tab on the home page.
Other information available easily include handicapping information, information on restaurants, art and culture spots, and also all racing-related information. One of the highlights of the Del Mar race track is the stucco grandstand, which is directly on the Pacific Ocean.